October 2nd, 2001



On Sunday afternoon, I helped Monica build her Sukkah. I enjoyed doing so.
Part of it, certainly, was that I enjoy participating in other people's religious celebrations, even though I'm not particularly religious myself.
Another big part, though, was that I got a chance to flex my Boy Scout skills. I really enjoyed knot-tying and lashings as a Boy Scout, and those lashing skills haven't come into play that much in the last decade.
So I taught Monica square lashings, clove hitches, timber hitches, and so forth, and we built the frame and lashed the wooden trellis to it with twine. I did wax a bit didactic in this--I even found some nice demonstrations of the usefulness of frapping.
The resulting structure looked very neatly and tidily built, if I do say so myself. I felt pleased.

Sunday Dinner, Sep-30-2001

While I was out helping Monica with her sukkah, ten pounds of beef brisket barbecue were baking in our ovens.

This actually turned out to be a problem. We had intended that Lori would bake a cake for Ruth and Monica's birthdays, but she was thwarted by the full ovens. And because of Monica's kosher restrictions, we really needed to serve the cake before we served the barbecue. So Lori ran out to the store and bought an ice cream cake instead.

Barbecued brisket (and really, any barbecue) wants to bake in a moist heat for a long time, for full tenderness. So my brisket recipe says, in part, "seal tightly in aluminum foil and bake for 5 hours. Add barbecue sauce, seal tightly again, and bake for another hour." This time, for the 'seal tightly in foil' part, I used Reynolds� Hot Bags� Foil Bags. Wow! These foil bags are my ShorDurPerSav of the moment. They were fabulous at holding in the juices--I don't think they let out any juice, even when I opened them to add the barbecue sauce and resealed them. I definitely intend to use them for all my future brisket making.

The brisket was excellent. Completely the other end of the scale from Lori's horrible brisket experience of Friday.

We also served potato salad and a green salad. I had been planning to make tabbouleh salad, but the Giant Eagle I visited had neither tabbouleh mix nor bulgur.

After dinner, we sampled the excellent 7-year rum that Eli had brought from Cuba. It was very tasty, but very strong.

We started to play Unexploded Cow, but decided that getting the money together was too much hassle and no one knew the rules well enough. So we played Munchkin instead. Monica threatened a victory, but ended up having to run away from a Potted Plant; Steve finally won with a Divine Intervention. The whole game was very frustrating for me, because I couldn't draw anything I could defeat--and after getting hit with a Sex Change curse, I would have had to go to great lengths just to defeat a potted plant.

Chocolate Ice Cream Pie
Barbecued Beef Brisket
Potato Salad
Green Salad

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